The Cold War: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the Cold War.

  • The Cold War was the name given to the mood of military and political tension in Europe, beginning after World War II.
  • The Berlin Wall, built in 1961, became its main symbol.

  • There was tension between the US and NATO countries, and the Soviet Union and Communist countries. NATO (North Atlantic Treaty organization) was formed in 1949 to help prevent future wars.
  • The term Cold War may have been invented by English writer George Orwell.
  • Another term used after the war was Iron Curtain, which described the invisible line between West and East Europe.
  • Berlin, in what was then East Germany, was divided into American, British, French and Russian zones. The 100 km Berlin Wall was built to divide the city into west and east.
  • In 1948 The Berlin Airlift took place to supply the people of West Berlin with supplies. Over 277,000 flights dropped over 2 million tons of goods to the residents.
  • During 1950, US Senator McCarthy tried to identify Communists in the United States. The Korean War began that same year, symbolizing the conflict between democracy and Communism.
  • The Vietnam War began in 1954, and the US fought in it from 1961 to 1973.
  • In 1955, the Soviet Union and seven communist eastern European countries (Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Albania) formed the Warsaw Pact, a defense treaty.
  • The Cuban missile crisis of 1962 was one of the main Cold War events. The Russians placed nuclear missiles on Cuba, just 90 miles from the United States, although later removed them.
  • The Cold War is said to have ended in 1990 when the Soviet Union broke apart into several smaller countries. The previous year, the Berlin Wall had been torn down.
  • Many films and television shows from the 1950s and 60s were set against the background of the Cold War. The first few James Bond films were the most well-known.

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